Roxanne Conlin still remembers how it felt, leaving her first child with a babysitter when the infant was only one week old. It was 1966. There were few women in the law and even fewer in practice after having children. Conlin was finishing her last year of law school and had a job with a small firm that offered no maternity leave. “It was horrible,” she says. “I cried every single day.”

When Conlin started her own firm in 1991, she swore that the women who worked for her would not have to play out that same wrenching scene. Today, Roxanne B. Conlin and Associates, a Des Moines, Iowa-based plaintiffs firm, is one of only a handful of firms in the country that allows parents to bring their babies to the office. This is not on-site day care; it is full-time parenting in the workplace. Over the last 18 years, Conlin’s firm has had 20 “office babies.”

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